May 20, 2017 / 7:56 AM / 3 years ago

Abducted South African prince of Mandela's clan found unharmed

AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo (3rd L) looks on with some members of his family as former South African President Nelson Mandela's flag-draped coffin arrives at the Mthatha airport, in the Eastern Cape province, 900 km (559 miles) south of Johannesburg for a funeral, December 14, 2013. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A prince of the AbaThembu clan of South Africa’s late anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was found on Saturday unharmed after being abducted by four gunmen in the city of Mtata in Eastern Cape province, police said.

Prince Mankunku Dalindyebo is the brother of jailed King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo, who began a 12-year sentence in December 2015 for arson, kidnapping and assault.

“He was found this morning near Mtata and he’s unharmed,” police spokesman Mzukisi Fatyela said. The motive remains unknown.

The brothers are traditional leaders of Mandela’s clan in a poor, rural region of the Eastern Cape. South Africa recognises several royal families, who command respect, especially in the countryside.

Local media reported the family has been feuding over who should be acting king as the monarch - a self-proclaimed marijuana smoker, widely known as the “Dagga King”, a name derived from local slang for the substance - serves his time.

Some back Prince Mankunku’s claim to the throne but the provincial government in February officially recognised the king’s son as the acting ruler of the nation.

Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by Dale Hudson

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